Following a difficult year due to the COVID pandemic and lockdown we wanted to celebrate the support of our ARC Friends by offering five days of free in-person guided walks across Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire and Norfolk. Supporters joined ARC staff on some key nature reserves to learn more about the sites, the wildlife that calls them home and our work to conserve them.

Our ARC Friends enjoyed a range of events, from getting involved in a live sand lizard release with Marwell Zoo and Forestry England, to collecting useful monitoring records at East Weavers Down. Visitors to Great Ovens managed to find smooth snakes using GPS tracking and visitors to St Catherine’s Hill enjoyed a guided archaeological walk.

ARC Friend, Andrew said "I attended the Woodbury Common walk. It was brilliant. Learned a lot and enjoyed the place, the animals we saw, and the people. I hope that there will be future opportunities to do this again." 

ARC currently manages over 2000 hectares across 80 reserves. Land management has always been the core activity of ARC, focusing on the reptile rich counties of Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey, but now incorporating nature reserves nationally including important amphibian sites in Cumbria, Norfolk and north Wales. We consider the best way to conserve our native species is by managing important core areas of their UK distribution and using these as demonstration sites to influence the thoughts and actions of others. Initially concentrating on threatened lowland heathlands in the south, we are now active across a wider range of habitats across the country, including military ranges, golf clubs and national parks.


The majority of our work on these sites is carried out by our own experienced field teams who undertake a seasonal set of activities; primarily tree and scrub control during the winter followed by bracken control, site infrastructure maintenance and monitoring work during the warmer months.

Although our primary focus is herpetological we have a range of skills and specialisms within our teams which reflect our aim of managing our sites for the full variety of wildlife present, in many cases equally rare or threatened.

Following the success of the week we aim to offer further walks for our supporters. It’s an opportunity to get to know reserves, ARC staff and mingle with our volunteers.  Join today and get involved! We look forward to seeing you at one of our events very soon.